What’s your credit like… Excellent? Average? Or could it use some help? The nice thing about Capital One® is that they have different credit cards, custom-tailored to different levels of credit.
So who should apply for a Capital One Platinum MasterCard? And who should submit an application for one of their other cards instead? This review will walk you through the pros and cons.
These 2 MasterCards are in the Platinum tier. Here’s a quick overview of each:
Capital One® Platinum
- Annual Fee: $19 normally, but it’s $0 for your first year
- Interest Rate: 24.9% variable for purchases and balance transfers
- Credit Requirements: Average/Fair/Limited
- Honest Feedback: If your credit isn’t the best, but it’s not downright bad, then this is a good choice because you will be getting platinum-tier benefits with a very reasonable annual fee. The downside is that the APR is higher, but that’s because it’s geared towards “fair” credit instead of “excellent.”
- Go here to learn more
Capital One® Platinum Prestige
- Annual Fee: $0
- Interest Rate: 10.9% to 18.9% variable for purchases and balance transfers
- Credit Requirements: Excellent
- Honest Feedback: If you have excellent credit and carry a balance, this is a straightforward choice. The APR range is definitely on the low end when you compare it to most reward cards (which usually come with higher rates). Last but not least, you get 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers until March 2015.
- Go here to learn more
So that’s a brief review of each offer, but let’s get into the nitty-gritty about their advantages – and possible disadvantages – that you should consider.
- No Foreign Transaction Fee: Almost every credit card co. slaps on a nasty fee for foreign transactions (usually a 2-3% surcharge). What’s unique about Capital One is that their cards don’t charge this. In fact, they are the only issuer which doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee on any of their cards. To put this in perspective, even the $450 American Express Platinum Card charges this fee, so the ability to get a free or low cost card without it is rare.
- Extended Warranty Program: For eligible purchases that come with an original manufacturer’s (or U.S. store brand) warranty, this benefit will mirror that coverage for the same amount of time, up to 1 extra year. So let’s say you used your Capital One Platinum card to make a qualifying purchase that had a 6 month warranty. Through this extended warranty program, you would have an additional 6 months of coverage. When your card arrives make sure you read the benefits guide that comes with it, so you understand the rules surrounding this program.
- Reasonable Annual Fee (When Applicable): If you go with the standard Platinum, you don’t have to worry about busting the bank just to pay for your card’s annual fee. $19 is reasonable when you compare it to some other cards out there for fair credit.
- MasterRental Insurance: This is MasterCard’s vehicle rental insurance program. Coverage for accidental damage and vehicle theft is provided on eligible rentals of 15 consecutive days or less which are fully paid for using your Platinum MasterCard. To use this benefit, you will have to decline the collision damage waiver from the rental company.
- Automatic Travel Accident Insurance: This applies during licensed common carrier travel (such as being a passenger on an airline) if you paid for the full cost using your Capital One Platinum credit card. MasterCard’s insurance provider offers up to $100,000 in coverage in the event of a travel accident which causes loss of life, limb, hearing, sight, or speech while riding as a passenger.
The Potential Disadvantages
- No Rewards Program: Perhaps the most notable drawback is that these Capital One Platinum MasterCards do not offer a rewards program. While that may seem like a bad trait, it’s actually not when you consider (1) who these cards are built for, and (1) the low rates on the Platinum Prestige. Simply put, these are not aimed at the reward chasers with excellent credit who never carry a balance – if that describes you, then check out the Venture card.
- Platinum APR: The rate on the standard Platinum is on the high side. But given that it’s for fair credit, it’s understandable. Of course, if you never carry a balance, then you won’t have to worry anyway.
- Bad Credit Probably Won’t Qualify: If you have poor credit and are looking to rebuild, then you might need to start with a secured card instead.
Find out more
- Capital One Platinum (for average/fair/limited credit, $19 annual fee is waived for the first year)
- Capital One Platinum Prestige (for excellent credit, no annual fee, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers until March 2015)
This review was written or last updated November 20, 2013